Monday, May 20, 2013

Team Krista #5: WATER LILY

Genre: YA science fiction thriller
Word count: 90,000


Sixteen-year-old Sadie Vonner has spent her life training to be a Reconner, an elite agent who scours Earth’s rapidly rising seas for resources. She’s had a clean record since the accident that killed her best friend Brandt, and if she can put the past behind her and make rank, she’ll be able to explore the drowning land outside Water Lily, her floating seaborne city.

But then she finds the note.

Written by Brandt the day he died, it leads to a series of puzzles he hid throughout the city and raises questions about the circumstances of his death. Desperate for answers, Sadie risks her shot at Reconner to play a final round of their childhood treasure-hunting game. But she’s not the only one looking for the trail’s end.

Complicating the search is Emery, the frustrating boy with the strange accent, who insists he can help solve the riddles, but as they grow closer, she suspects he’s hiding something. There’s also Brandt’s brother Morgan, a powerful city officer and violent alcoholic who threatens Sadie’s father if she doesn’t deliver the final clue. As Morgan stalks her every move, Sadie questions just how much he knows about Brandt’s death.

When Brandt’s clues indicate that he might be alive, Sadie must decide how far she’s willing to go to learn the truth. Following his trail outside the walls of Water Lily means severing ties with her home, but it’s the only way to find the final piece of the puzzle: Brandt himself.

First page:

“They’re back,” someone whispers.

My classmates press their faces to the windows, fingertips smearing the glass as they stare out at the endless ocean.

“They’ve been gone for weeks,” Roger says. “I thought they were dead.”

My hands curl around the edge of the desk, which is something of an antique--the trees that made it are extinct. “The Reconners?” I ask. No one answers. My classmates are more likely to talk about me than to me.

I jump to my feet and join them, squinting through the smudged glass at the tiny brown-clad men and women on the sea below. Their hovercraft slows as it approaches the city, and the sun glints off the weathered tarp strapped to the cargo-hold.

They found something.

Grabbing my communication tablet from my desk, I dash past gray-haired Professor Wright, who’s nodded off mid-lecture once again, and duck into the nearest stairwell. It’s already flooded with a sea of people trickling down to the deck, but I swim through them, determined to grab a piece of the Reconners’ latest find.

Excited chatter fills the air as we spill onto the sunbaked deck, and I squeeze through the thousands of citizens until I find a spot where I can breathe. The wind whips my dark hair into tangles, and I pull strands of it from my mouth, tasting salt. My heart marks the seconds as they tick into minutes, but then, finally, the portal door opens.


Marieke said...

I love the idea of puzzles and clues in such a fantastically intriguing setting. I'd definitely pick this up. Good luck!

Noelle Henry said...

This is such an amazing premise for a thriller! I love the mystery you've set up, and the atmosphere of your opening words really serve to hook the reader immediately. I would keep right on reading if I could! :) Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I want to know what's behind the door! Great voice and hook. Good luck!

Copernicus Nerdicus said...

This is one of the most exciting premises I've read in awhile. I absolutely LOVE IT. Sign me up to read this. Seriously - can I? :) GOOD LUCK!

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

This is a treasure hunt I'd love to join - and I'm a sucker for best guy friends. Good luck with this!

Ashley Turcotte said...

Love the premise of this. Water Lily sounds like such a cool setting for a novel, and you've done a great job with world building in your opening. I'd love to read more of this. Good luck! Team Krista FTW!

Jennie Bailey said...

This sounds so amazing! I love a good thriller - and your query letter pulled me in fast. I'm in love with this idea. Your first 250 leave me wanting more, more, more!!

Jessie Oliveros said...

I really feel this is a great and unique dystopian that will stand out. I want to know what's under the tarp, and I love how you wove a mystery/puzzle element into it.

L. T. Host said...

This sounds awesome! Best of luck :)

Anonymous said...

I really love this one - I've been hooked ever since I ready your query last time, and your first page is really well-written. I would love to read this one! Tons of luck!!

Corey Wright said...

this is the kind of book that'd leave my knuckles white from all the clutching of the pages i'd be doing.

i'm a sucker for a thriller/mystery, and this sounds wicked exciting and the right kind of scary! plus, i love the unique setting. sadie's world is definitely one i want to explore!

good luck!

Lina said...

I love puzzle-y, twisty plots! The setting is exciting, and the imagery in your first page is craaaaazy. I'd stay up all night reading this one for sure. Good luck!

Ammi-Joan Paquette said...

The story intrigues me, and the voice is smooth. Interested to read more!

Mollie Glick said...

I love the concept here. I'm happy to request this!


Christa Heschke said...

This sounds great. Would love to read more!

Monika Verma said...

So intriguing -- I would love to read more.


John Rudolph said...

Happy to take a look. Thanks.